The economy added an estimated 215,000 jobs in July, in line with economists’ expectations, but not enough to change the nation’s civilian unemployment rate, which remained at 5.3 percent, but workers still aren’t getting aggressive raises and millions of Americans remain on the sidelines.
How many millions? Perhaps you should take a deep breath first.
A record 93,770,000 Americans were not in the American labor force in July, and the labor force participation rate remained at 62.6 percent, exactly where it was in June — a 38-year low, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Not since October 1977, when the participation rate dropped to 62.4, has the percentage been this low. Remember who was President then? Jimmy Carter.
Among the major demographic groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (4.8 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), whites (4.6 percent), blacks (9.1 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics(6.8 percent) showed little or no change.
6,325,000 million people were employed part time for economic reasons, but would prefer full-time work if they could find it.
So what is the real unemployment rate?
The Labor Department defines U-6 as “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force” plus all marginally attached workers. In other words, the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged
The U-6 rate dipped in July to 10.4 percent.
The bad news for investors and perhaps retirement accounts, is that out of this manipulated data the Fed will raise interest rates soon, perhaps as early as September.